Sunday, October 22, 2017

Updating the Professional Learning Path

This picture depicts my main teaching/learning focus this year, a focus empowered by my professional learning path priorities.
This year's professional learning path is mainly focused on deep, detailed professional research and development close to the classroom. While I enjoy taking part in broader, more diverse workshops and learning opportunities, it seems that this is the year to mostly focus in, synthesize, and apply the learning of the past many years into my daily practice. What will this look like?

Reflective Practice
Over the years I've developed a deep and steady reflective practice of reading, research, thought, writing, sharing, and application. The reflective cycle has empowered my practice considerably, and more I adhere to that cycle, the better the teaching and learning become. I will present this work and strategy with new teachers at the MTA's Just for New Teacher Conference on November 4th. At the conference I'll specifically show how teachers can use reflective practice to meet and deepen their work related to the Massachusetts Teacher Evaluation System as well as their overall goals and objectives with regard to their teaching careers.

Learning Design
My research and reading related to brain-friendly, student-centered, culturally proficient learning design has also strengthened my ability to teach well. I want to use this learning to deepen teaching in the areas of STEAM and math this year. I also want to advocate for practices at the local level which will empower our ability to teach, research, and develop our work.

Student Advocacy, Independence, and Successful Learning
There's much we can do in schools to develop greater student advocacy, independence, and successful learning. My colleagues and I are exploring this via the use of multiple learning strategies including revised orientation efforts, updated student-teacher-family conferences/showcase portfolios, greater use of online learning menus and personalized learning sites, drop-in learning opportunities, online tests, quality field experiences and expert visitors, and more. To empower students and their learning in modern ways that matter increases success, happiness, and contribution.

Collaboration and Good Process
I find that so many good ideas are hindered by a lack of good time and process for apt collaboration. Through advocacy, analysis, outreach, and reflection, I am looking for ways to build greater time and process for the kind of collaboration that empowers educators, students, and the rest of the learning community to better what we do.

I need to take a special education course to meet the requirements for recertification next year. I'd like to take one of Mahesh Sharma's classes related to math and special education needs and practice. My sister took one of those courses last summer which she said was amazing.

Committee Work
I'll continue my committee work and related networking too to both learn and contribute at the local, state, and national levels of education via the MTA, NEA. NBPTS, The Teacher Collaborative, ECET2, WTA, DESE TAC, and more.

There's so much opportunity to get involved in professional learning events today. That professional learning work truly empowers what you can do with and for the students and families you lead and serve. The important point is to figure out where your priorities lie in this realm each year and let those priorities lead your practice ahead.

Potential/Planned Professional Learning Events
  • Just for New Teachers MTA Conference Presenter 11/4
  • NBPTS Jumpstart (potential w/focus on math/STEAM)
  • Teacher Leadership Conference (December)
  • Mahesh Sharma Special Education/Math Conference (TBD)
  • The Teacher Collaborative Open House (November)
  • SEL Book Events (potential)
  • MTA Summer Conference - STEAM, Math, Union focus 
  • ECET2 - potential w/Math/STEAM focus